My phone rang and I didn’t want to pick it up.I was tired from working all…
The Serpent and the Flame Èèmọ̀ (Trouble) was standing in front of the one-bedroom apartment in…
Your Mother is My mother is Your Mother is My Mother.
“Iya Oyo, does your name mean the mother of Oyo, or the mother in Oyo?” I asked Iya Oyo one day.
“It means both,” she responded. “To my entire community of Oyo, I am the mother of all, young and old. If anyone is hungry and comes to me, it is my responsibility to feed them. Anybody who needs a place to sleep and comes to me, I will roll out my mats to them. I am their mother, and that is why I am Iya Oyo. At the same time, I live in Oyo, therefore if I travel anywhere, I am the mother who lives in Oyo.”
Another painting that I just extracted from my garage is this dark work.
There is an interesting story behind it.
In the year 2000 or 2001, the British Museum invited me to give a lecture as part of the ceremonies held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and also to mark the completion of the Great Court built as an extension of the main museum building. They wanted me to address the body as my topic.
This birthday gift came well after my birthday. It has my name emblazoned on it. As I wore it, I recalled the conversation with Iya Oyo and Baba Oyo that evening they explained the meaning of my name, Moyo, which literally means “I rejoice.” It is part of a longer name Moyòsọ́rẹtíolúwápèsèfúnmi.
WHO IS GUILTY?
Iya Oyo was smiling. That was frightening. I knew I was in great trouble.
Iya Oyo never smiled. When she looked like she was smiling, trouble was brewing, and the only one that trouble could brew for that quiet evening was me.
The only way I knew she was smiling was because I turned and looked at her as she tapped her pipe on the arms of the seat on which she reclined with my grandfather, who was still quietly smoking his pipe.